Making The Case For Brad Maddox’s WWE Return

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Making The Case For Brad Maddox’s WWE Return

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On October 28, 2012, the most underrated professional wrestler of all time Brad Maddox debuted on the main roster of the WWE in one of the most unique and interesting ways imaginable- as a referee. The main event of the night pitted the WWE Champion CM Punk vs “The Big Guy” Ryback. The bout was a one-sided affair with Ryback ruthlessly pummeling Punk the whole match. Then, as Ryback went for his signature finishing move, the referee stepped in and delivered a low blow to the behemoth, subsequently making a very quick 3 count. Rumors swirled as to who the controversial official was. It turned out it was Brad Maddox.

 

On the next week’s episode of Monday Night Raw, Maddox was called to the ring and questioned for his actions. Commentator Michal Cole asked the 28 year old, “What possible explanation can you have for your actions?” In an eloquent and expansive promo, Maddox explained that,“ All my life, all that I have ever wanted to do was to be a WWE superstar. For years, I’ve tried to get my foot in the door, and for years, everybody has shut the door in my face.” A flustered Maddox opined, “I have sent tapes everywhere, I have been to tryouts, I’ve been to WWE live events. Apparently I wasn’t good enough. But even when WWE officials told me that I would never, ever make it to the main roster of the WWE, my dream didn’t die. In fact, it got stronger. Because I want to be somebody, and I don’t care how many people tell me that I’m nobody.”

With boos raining down from the crowd, an enraged Maddox took a moment to compose himself, and revealed “So, I made a vow to myself that I would do whatever it takes to get to the WWE. That’s why I became a referee. And when I finally got the job, all I needed was one chance to make an impact.” 

Maddox, smirking at the crowd, repeated, “All I’ve ever wanted to do was to be a WWE superstar. That’s why I want a contract and a match with Ryback.”

Much to Maddox’s surprise, the chairman and owner of the WWE Vince McMahon made his way to the ring. McMahon laughed at Maddox but offered him a challenge: “If you can beat Ryback next week on Raw, I will give you a $1,000,000 WWE contract.”

In my opinion, this was one of the most interesting and ingenuitive storylines in WWE history. So often in professional wrestling, the matches and feuds are very pointless and low stakes. But here we had a man being motivated by 2 things: his quest for fame and a WWE contract. This made Maddox a very relatable character as we all have hopes and dreams that we seek to achieve.

Now, this could have been a great starting point for Maddox’s in-ring career, but unfortunately the WWE essentially buried Maddox and all of his chances as an in-ring competitor. In his match with Ryback, Maddox got absolutely zero offense in and was thrown into an ambulance at the end of the match. I understand that Maddox most likely should not have beaten Ryback, but he at least could have gotten a few punches in, right? Instead, the WWE made Maddox a laughing stock and made him lose all credibility despite the fact that he was a good technical wrestler!

Maddox made his return in December of 2012 and was unsuccessful in a few more attempts at winning the “1 million dollar WWE contract.” However, in the few matches which Maddox competed in, he displayed his advanced technical knowledge of wrestling, and more importantly his ability to entertain. Maddox’s promos while on the way to the ring were just as entertaining as any match on the show.

By February of 2013, Maddox, who still had not received his contract, transitioned into an on-screen authority figure role. The general manager at the time Vickie Guerrero needed an assistant, and Maddox needed a job. Thus began a six month partnership between Maddox and Guerrero. Despite the fact that Maddox was not wrestling, he excelled in every segment he appeared in with his excellent comedic instincts and timing.

On July 8, 2013, Vince McMahon fired Maddox’s boss Vickie Guerrero as the general manager. With a slot open, McMahon decided to make Maddox the general manager of Monday Night Raw. This was a huge deal for Brad Maddox as the general manager role is a big deal in wrestling. They hold the authority and are present on every single show. Maddox stepped into his new role nicely. On his first episode of Raw as the general manager, Maddox proudly announced, “I am determined to be the greatest general manager of all time!”

Maddox remained the general manager for the next 10 months. In this time period, he appeared in very high-profile segments with the likes of Brock Lesnar, Stephanie McMahon, Triple H, and of course Vince McMahon. In his time as the “GM”,  Maddox played the authority figure role well.   

Unfortunately this came to an end when on the May 26, 2014 episode of Raw, Brad Maddox was “fired” as the general manager. Of course, Maddox was only fired in storyline, but it still disappointed me. 

When Maddox was fired as the GM, many fans speculated that perhaps he was released so he could give wrestling another shot. Alas, this was not the case. Brad Maddox was fired in storyline on May 26, 2014, and released in real life on November, 25, 2015. During those 18 months, Maddox appeared on WWE TV only 2 times, neither of which were in ring competitions.

Despite his obvious talent, the WWE never gave Maddox a chance to display his in-ring acumen and mastery. In his four year WWE run, Maddox wrestled only 8 matches. 

Since Maddox’s release, the landscape of the WWE has changed. In 2016, they debuted a new show called 205 Live, in which all competitors are under 205 lbs. This would be a perfect way for the relatively small Maddox to make his long-awaited return to the WWE.

Believe it or not, I have not watched an entire episode of Raw since Maddox’s release, and quite frankly I don’t plan to. Since Maddox’s firing, the company has been steadily declining in every way, whether it be ratings, content, stock price, or entertainment value. Maddox could reignite my interest in the WWE, and until his return, I am boycotting the company’s shows and content.

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